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Why then, did He dare to risk condemnation of the whole world (what Chinese would call “mao tianxia zhi da buwei”)? And why in China?

These are extremely complicated questions that call upon many in-depth inquiries. From a broad sociological and historical perspective, He’s genetic misadventure is unsurprising. A series of political and social forces in China in the past several decades have created a fertile environment for Chinese researchers to undertake daring but unethical (or ethically problematic) “world’s firsts.” In many ways, He’s human experimentation constitutes one of the fruits of his personal ambition nourished and directly supported by China’s authoritarian pursuit for a nation strong in science and technology. The drive to be a science superpower is part of an even grander Chinese dream chased by the party-government and Chinese society.

…continue reading ‘He Jiankui’s Genetic Misadventure: Why Him? Why China?’

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Bioethics Forum Essay - Hastings Center

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